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Maybe "Alternating" Rather than "Alternate"? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Friday, 12 December 2008 00:00

This comment has been circulating about among the woo-woos:

I don't know who suggested using the Benveniste experiment as something which would invalidate or disprove homeopathy, but whoever promoted that concept failed to appreciate or understand what homeopathy is about or what it can do. If it was Mr. Randi himself, I am afraid that he has done a disservice to humanity by sowing confusion in the minds of people whose sufferings could have been alleviated had they not been discouraged from considering homeopathy as a viable and valid alternative when the modality they are presently relying upon is not? [sic] producing the desired results.

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More Cannon Fodder PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Thursday, 11 December 2008 00:00

cannonJohn Atkinson, our resident correspondent on the Isle of Man, regales us with news about Dr. Alexander Cannon, who we met in this article. I had asked John to look into the reference I'd found about an amateur magician on the Isle who'd come up with some documentary material about Cannon, who - it turns out - "retired" in 1936 after his woo-woo involvement with King Edward VIII became known to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. He moved to the Isle of Man in 1939. This change of location was - let's say - not voluntary... The MI5 investigation of Cannon came to the conclusion that he was not a spy, though he had several Nazi sympathizers as patients, but only "a quack and compulsive liar." That does not seem sufficient cause to thus isolate him, but it perhaps spared the rest of England from being further bored...

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GIngko Isn't Smart PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall   
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 00:00

gingkoMillions of people take Gingko biloba because they think it keeps them smart. A recent study suggests they might be smarter to save their money ($107 million was spent on gingko in 2007 in the US alone).

Gingko has been touted for everything from altitude sickness to tinnitus, but the main claims have been for dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and improving memory. The evidence wasn't clear, so the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) funded a large trial to find out whether gingko could really delay the onset of dementia or Alzheimer's. They studied 3000 people over the age of 75 who were either normal or had mild cognitive impairment. It was a well-designed double blind placebo controlled trial lasting over 6 years. They found no difference in the incidence of dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

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Woo in Review: A REVOLUTION IN TASTE and THE ORDER OF THINGS PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Alison Smith   
Sunday, 07 December 2008 00:25

Woo in Review

A REVOLUTION IN TASTE: THE RISE OF FRENCH CUISINE by Susan Pinkard and

THE ORDER OF THINGS: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE HUMAN SCIENCES by Michel Foucault


jenniferlovehewittFirst of all, let me start off by apologizing for the lack of Woo in Review this past week. I was supposed to have a telephone interview with James van Praagh about his work on Ghost Whisperer, and (after his assistant agreed to the interview) either he realized who I am or he is a total flake. So that means no Ghost Whisperer, which I'm definitely sad about as I must now shelve the dozen jokes I have collected about Jennifer Love Hewitt's cleavage and how shocking it is that none of the other characters have yet suffocated to death in it as, for all appearances, it seems to take up at least 95% of the set. Aha, got one in anyway. Ba-dum-tish.

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On Superstition PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by George Hrab   
Tuesday, 09 December 2008 00:00

geo_standing_suitEarly humans looked to the sky and invented stories explaining the intricate machinations of gods and monsters, heroes and heroines, warriors and poets. They created myths, stories, and legends to account for the workings of these mysterious, brilliant points of light. A single dot in the heavens could represent the most epic of battles. A pair of stars could somehow contain within them the entire contents of both the Iliad and the Odyssey. This was all possible because early man's free-time allotment did not include the mind-numbing wonders of back episodes of VH-1's "The Flavor of Love."

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